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FEE-FI-FO-FUM by George on the Outer



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“Fee-fi-fo-fum, without a Full Forward the Premiership can’t be won!”
So said the GWS Giants, as they exposed Melbourne’s fatal deficiency with a nine point win at the MCG.  In past weeks Melbourne has been barely able to gloss over the lack of a serious target in front of goal, while others were able to contribute.  But in a near repeat of the game from the previous week, players running up the ground simply had no-one to kick the ball to, when all that was needed was that one tall target.

It didn’t help that Melbourne could not kick straight, by making 35% of their shots at goal, and a good number of them ordinarily easily converted.  Kick just two of the easy misses and the game result would have been very different. 

However, not a single tall playing in the forward line, Tom McDonald, Luke Jackson or Max Gawn was able to trouble the goal umpire for the match. This simply cannot continue and the concept of resting rucks in the goal-square has been an abject failure.  They are ruckmen and do not know or indeed have been trained to play as the leading full-forward. 

In the middle of the ground the story was similarly an abject failure. The Giants simply overwhelmed the Melbourne mids with centre clearances 11 to 6.  Normally, this is not a problem, but the quality of clearances was telling.  James Harmes was given the job in the centre, yet failed to tag Hopper, Kelly, Ward or Taranto.  He certainly didn’t add anything in terms of attack, as his turnovers and fumbles at critical times cost the side dearly. 

Likewise, for his limited game time of 62%, Jack Viney was barely sighted.  He is either carrying injury or is significantly unfit, because this wasn’t the Jack Viney that we have come to know. 

Thank goodness for the backline, who held strong throughout the game. After all, the opposition only scored nine goals. Jake Lever, Steven May and Harry Petty did their jobs, and Christian Salem and Trent Rivers were there when needed. Salem back to his best with 31 touches, and Lever and May combining for 24 intercepts and Rivers 7.  Still we were pantsed by Toby Greene early on who had 3 goals out of their side’s first 5.  Fortunately, Michael Hibberd shut him down after that, but the damage had been done, given the final margin.

It wasn’t until the last quarter that the Demons showed any fire and desire, but needing three goals to drag the margin back was a big ask when they had only kicked five leading into the final break.  Jayden Hunt failed three times as he tried to run the ball down the field, but while fans bemoaned his lack of vision, without a target he simply had to keep running. 

Bayley Fritsch gave the side a sniff and contributed well with his three goals, often at critical times in the game, but he can’t do it all on his own.  He needs help.  Same as McDonald.  He can’t do all the leading up the ground, gaining 10 marks, 3 of which were contested, and then be expected to be the FF as well. 

Kossy Pickett was unsighted with only 4 touches for the game, despite a couple of stints in the middle.  He looked tired, and perhaps some time away for a refresh is needed.  He was taken from the ground for the whole of the final quarter, but is his form just another sign of not having a suitable 2nd tall to be able to feed off.  Charlie Spargo fared better with 11 touches, but again with no crumbing opportunities his output was well below his best. 

Melbourne have now lost three of their past 6 games.  With upcoming games against Port, Bulldogs, Eagles and Geelong, there is a real chance not only of losing that valuable top 2 spot, but dropping out of top four.

The change needs to be made now.  The team is desperate for a structure up forward which matches the reliability of that which it has down back.  If Ben Brown is not fit, then that should no longer be a consideration.  He is a 200cm target which we currently don’t have. 

And with finals closing in, now is the time to stop experiments and put in place the structure which will see the side through to the end. 

If not it will be “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of the Demon!”

MELBOURNE 1.3.9 3.6.24 5.9.39 7.13.55

GWS GIANTS 2.2.14 6.6.42 8.8.56 9.10.64

GOALS

Melbourne Fritsch 3 Neal-Bullen Pickett Salem Sparrow

GWS Giants Greene 3 Himmelberg Kelly Reid Taranto Ward Whitfield

BEST

Melbourne Salem Petracca Fritsch Langdon Rivers Gawn

GWS Giants Kelly Ward Taranto Greene Perryman Hopper Whitfield

INJURIES

Melbourne Nil

GWS Giants Buckley (knee)

REPORTS

Melbourne Nil

GWS Giants Nil

SUBSTITUTES

Melbourne: vandenBerg (unused)

GWS Giants: Reid (replaced Buckley)

UMPIRES Dean Margetts Curtis Deboy Andrew Heffernan

Official Crowd 16,963 at the MCG

ReportRd162021.png

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